UPDATED: Friday 10:41*
THE COMPANY behind asphalt plant plans for the Medina has been accused of incompetence, or a deliberate attempt to hamper public consultation, by Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner.
As reported by the Isle of Wight County Press in August, GKN has warned that emissions from the plant could jeopardise 1,200 jobs, and today (Wednesday) Mr Turner hit out at the lack of consultation with the East Cowes company.
He said: "I have been watching this situation with increasing concern — it is a textbook example on the wrong way for applicants to deal with planning applications.
"At the public information evening, Eurovia representatives failed to answer perfectly reasonable questions from people whose lives would be affected by their plans.
"Then we learn they are planning to give further information about their proposals - but only after the public consultation period has closed.
"It smacks of incompetence or, even worse, a deliberate attempt to ensure that the public are not properly able to respond to what they know are highly controversial plans.
"Now we hear that GKN have not even been consulted about the proposed plant and how any emissions might affect them.
"GKN need clean rooms at both their sites with closely controlled air quality.
"If the wind blows the asphalt plant emissions towards them it could shut them down completely or cause damage to high specification aerospace components under manufacture. Either scenario would cost GKN many hundreds of thousands – or even millions - of pounds.
"GKN provide 1,200 high quality jobs which are hugely important to the Island’s economy – if GKN starts to lose contracts because of interruptions to their manufacturing process or damage to key components it will doubtless cost the Island jobs.
"It seems as if Eurovia have not done their homework properly before putting in this application."
He said he had not been given an answer by the company as to what it would do if the plans were not approved.
The Isle of Wight Council has said that although the public consultation closed on Friday, late representations could still be considered up until the date of the planning meeting, which has yet to be set.
Eurovia is hosting two public information days this Friday and Saturday at Newport Football Club.
*Patrick Riley, Director of Eurovia Roadstone, comments: "Unfortunately these are yet further examples of misleading and inaccurate information about our plans. These claims refer to alleged emissions from the proposed asphalt production process when in fact at Medina Wharf, we will be using the cleanest fuel available - natural gas - with the only visible emissions being that of water vapour. We would like to reassure all islanders that our plant design is a state-of-the-art, low emission asphalt plant.
In particular response to the press statement from Andrew Turner MP and the concerns of GKN, Eurovia Roadstone would welcome meeting either or both to discuss this at our consultation sessions being held this Friday and Saturday at Newport Football Club. Anyone who wishes to find out the facts about our asphalt plant plans and manufacturing process is welcome at these consultation sessions with our experts. You can either turn up on the day, or if you would prefer, book an appointment via our website (www.euroviaroadstone.co.uk) or call 01403 215866."